Posts in the Perfect Inspiration category:

onLocation: Perfect Inspiration – The Alvord Desert Stars

Posted on April 10, 2015 by Patrick Smith

Hudson Henry showcases his photo of the Milky Way from the Alvord Desert. Hudson explains how he shoots stars and the Milky Way as he creates a vertical panoramic merger hand blended using Perfect Layers and Perfect Effects.

He offers some of his tricks for post processing photos of the Milky Way and covers some of his go to effects and filters for getting exactly what he wants. Watch as he walks through creating his stack of effects and selectively brushes them in to certain areas of the photo.


As an added bonus, he explains how to create an intake preset in Adobe Lightroom. It’s key to your camera and does some basic underlying adjustments to your Raw image that you’ll want on every file.

Enjoy Hudson’s video from the Alvord Desert in this latest episode of Perfect Inspiration.

onLocation: Perfect Inspiration – The Alvord Desert

Posted on March 6, 2015 by Patrick Smith

Hudson Henry brings us this latest episode of Perfect Inspiration. In the video, he shows one of his favorite features in Perfect Photo Suite 9, Fast Preview Mode. Follow along as Hudson sorts through photos from his trip to the Alvord Desert using Perfect Browse and Lightroom. He discusses how using them together has changed his workflow.


Fast preview saves him a ton of time and has changed the way he ingests photos into his workflow. See how fast, fast preview actually works. No lag, no wait, just fast viewing. He goes through the entire trip almost instantly.


So sit back, relax, and enjoy Hudson’s video and photos from the Alvord Desert in this latest episode of Perfect Inspiration.

Update: View the In the Field episode of Hudson and Matt on their trip.

Perfect Inspiration: To Thine Own Self Be True with Brian Matiash

Posted on February 27, 2015 by Patrick Smith

To Thine Own Self Be True

Contributing to this episode of the Perfect Inspiration series is a bit of a homecoming for me. Well, maybe a bit more than a homecoming. You see, I first started this weekly series when I worked at on1 in early 2012 and published a new episode every week for about 58 weeks straight. I held the series very closely and was so proud of it. Even now, I’m beaming over the fact that it has been growing with a diverse group of contributing photographers sharing their own gems of inspiration. If you haven’t had a chance, be sure to carve out some time and go through the series’ entire playlist . I guarantee you that there’s tons of useful information there.

My goal with the Perfect Inspiration series has always been to promote thoughtful content to help spur and excite viewers to go out with camera-in-hand and create something that is truly meaningful to themselves. Whether or not the photo ever gets shared is not the endgame. Rather, the goal is help people become more in tune with their own style and sensibilities around their photography. It isn’t so much about going through the motions over and over. It’s about flexing your creative muscle and putting some serious brain cycles around what it is about your photography that drives you . Because, after all, you are the person that you’re creating for, right? Sure, you may share your work far and wide but you’re not actually creating it for anyone else. You’re creating it for yourself!

The impetus to this post stems from some comments that I read on a recent episode of Perfect Inspiration by the wonderful and lovely Nicole S. Young (fact: she is also my wife). The comments, as a whole, were genuinely positive but there were several that expressed some form of criticism ranging from how she exposed her image to how she processed it.

Now let’s stop right here for a quick second for me to clarify something. I love engagement. If you take the time to leave some thoughts on a photo, good or bad, it truly means something to me. However, I have done this for long enough to know what criticism is worth thinking about and what can be summarily ignored. Nicole is very much in the same boat. My concern is with those who may take this criticism to heart and actually change the way they create.

And that’s the very crux of my point. Here’s a fact about sharing your own personal work with the world: you will always have fans and detractors. You will get positive feedback and negative criticism. It is your responsibility as a creative to be true to yourself and know what feedback is worth considering and what should simply be discarded.

Let’s illustrate this case. Imagine if Nicole wasn’t nearly as thickskinned and capable of a photographer. She goes to her Perfect Inspiration post and sees the very first comment state, “ In my opinion the water of the stream looks over processed and artificial .” Now, imagine if Nicole took this to heart and actually changed the way she exposed her photos or processed her images based on this feedback. In my book, that would be one of the greatest tragedies because, good or bad, the one thing you owe to yourself is to create to your own specification.

So, if I could pass along anything to you, it’s simply to remind you that growth is perpetual and does not necessarily follow a linear path or relative path. Your track should not be built atop the comments that you get. Yes, there is plenty to be said about seeking out trusted feedback and mentorship but all of it is rather meaningless if you don’t know who the photographer is that you want to grow into. Simply, to thine own self be true. – Brian


Perfect Inspiration: Perfect B&W with Andrew S. Gibson

Posted on February 20, 2015 by Peter Kinnan

We are excited to introduce you to Andrew Gibson. Andrew is an author, photographer, and traveller. Andrew describes himself as a free spirit who teaches people how to take better photos.

From his website:

“My interest in photography began when my parents bought me a Ricoh KR-10m camera over 20 years ago. Since then I’ve taken photos in over 60 countries, studied for a degree in photography and worked as Technical Editor for EOS magazine. Now I’m a freelance writer and I make a living writing about photography. In recent years I’ve lived in the UK, China and New Zealand, which is now my home.”

You can learn more about Andrew on his blog.


Andrew brings you his very first episode of Perfect Inspiration – Converting a Color Photo to Black and White. He shows you his methods and tips for making these conversions using Perfect B&W.

Perfect Inspiration: Gorton Creek with Nicole S. Young

Posted on February 12, 2015 by Peter Kinnan

Watch Nicole S. Young explore stylizing options with a photo she recently took at Gorton Creek.  Nicole uses both Lightroom and Perfect Effects 9 to give her “Mossy Forest” photo a finished look.  CLICK HERE for Mossy Forest Preset.


onLocation: Perfect Inspiration – The Painted Hills

Posted on February 2, 2015 by Peter Kinnan

Watch Hudson Henry recall his time shooting the Painted Hills in Oregon.  Hudson overcomes a less than ideal setting in this episode and talks about how to shoot for post production of an image.

onLocation: Perfect Inspiration – The Olympic Peninsula Stars

Posted on December 30, 2014 by Patrick Smith

Hudson Henry shows how he processed his photo of the night sky in this episode of Perfect Inspiration. Hudson covers how he scouted the location, set up the shot, and edited the photo. He also shows us his processing techniques in both Lightroom and Perfect Photo Suite 9.

Make sure you check out the onLocation – In the Field episode and view the gallery from this trip.

Perfect Inspiration: Food Photography with Nicole Young

Posted on December 12, 2014 by Peter Kinnan

Watch Nicole Young in this Perfect Inspiration talk about how she sets up her food photography studio with diffused light.  She covers hardware to software and shows how she uses the Perfect Photo Suite 9 to enhance her final image.  Get Nicole Young’s free Hot Cocoa Preset. Click Here

onLocation: Perfect Inspiration – The Olympic Peninsula

Posted on December 5, 2014 by Peter Kinnan


Watch Hudson Henry in this episode of Perfect Inspiration sharing photos from his backpacking trip on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state.  Hudson encounters wildlife, sea life, and beautiful scenery and documents it all with his Nikon D810.  See how Hudson uses Perfect Photo Suite 9 to add the finishing touches to his photos and share some stories along the way.

Perfect Inspiration: Adding Clouds with Matt Suess

Posted on December 2, 2014 by Peter Kinnan

Watch Matt Suess, fine art photographer, take some images from his trip to Zion and replace unappealing skies.  Matt uses Perfect Layers and Perfect Enhance to create dramatic landscapes with sky backgrounds provided in Perfect Layers .  Matt even demonstrates how to create a reflection in the water when replacing skies that have clouds.